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Under the Digital Hood: The Many Hats of E-Commerce

The traditional way of selling has come a long way from going door to door with a briefcase, with sellers trying to convince people to give them a couple of minutes and listen to what they had to offer. And most of the times, that offer was something the people didn’t actually need. Today’s selling process revolves almost entirely around the customers and what their requirements are. Nine out of ten interactions (give or take, don’t quote us on that😊), you have to dedicate a great amount of time and physical presence to understand better what is needed and how to address it.

But, in an era where time is of the essence and everybody is online, your window of opportunity might close sooner than you imagine. So, how can you ensure you:
a)    know exactly and fast what your customer needs/likes/dislikes?
b)    equip your teams with the right information, at the right time, in the right place?

Entering E-Commerce, one of the most powerful “box” of digital tools in today’s increasingly digital world. Find out what these tools are, how they can help your business, and why you need an E-Commerce professional in your team today, in our next edition of “Under the Digital Hood” series. We sat down with Heikki Minkkinen, our E-Commerce Specialist, to learn more about the many hats of his role and its integral part in the digital transformation.

Enjoy the interview and let us know your thoughts!

Digital Hub: Hello Heikki! Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the Digital hub.

Heikki Minkkinen: Hi! I started in the Oerlikon Digital Hub in July 2019, as an E-Commerce Specialist. I’m originally from Finland, where I studied Business Information Systems. After my graduation I moved to Munich, Germany. Prior to joining Oerlikon, I’ve built up around 10 years of experience in E-Commerce and Online Marketing, including SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Display Marketing and Web Analytics. In my Digital Hub role, I am working on setting up, developing, optimizing Oerlikon E-Commerce platforms and other digital products, together with business stakeholders across the group.

DH: So, how would you describe the role of an E-Commerce specialist?

HM: Very interesting, I would say 😊. And I am not saying that because it’s my role, but because it gives the opportunity to wear many different “hats”. On one side, there is the analytics component: I set up analytics processes that are then used to generate new insights, to measure and analyze performance and trends. On the other side, we have the marketing activities: managing online marketing channels, developing, planning and executing digital marketing campaigns (like Paid Search and SEO campaigns), as well as setting everything for the launch of digital products. And the last “hat” is the sales one, driving digital sales force projects, setting up platforms for end-users and supporting during rollout.

DH: I must agree with you, it does sound very interesting, having the possibility to combine so many worlds. What skills would qualify someone for such a role?

HM: Understanding the digital sales process and performance marketing. It’s important to have experience in developing SEO campaigns. Also, a hands – on experience with common tools or platforms, such as Google Ads, web analytics tools like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console. And since someone in this role would probably interact with many parts of a business, project management abilities, as well as collaboration and problem solving skills come in handy. Lastly, in particular as a member of the Digital Hub, it’s important to be a good team player with the right mindset and desire to contribute and advance the digital transformation we have embarked on in Oerlikon.

DH: Since you mentioned again being part of the Oerlikon Digital Hub, can you tell us what are your day to day activities as part of the Hub, what are your responsibilities?

HM: Right now I am working on a digital sales force project, where we are trying to empower the sales force with the right digital tools, giving them the ability to interact with customers faster and to address their needs better. I am also working on setting up and managing an E-Commerce platform for one of our company’s divisions. In this project, I am responsible for the analytics parts, as well as for creating and coordinating online marketing campaigns.

DH: I know it might not be the case to generalize, but at the end of the day, what would you say are the goals of your role and how do they link to business goals?

HM: Well, on one hand I would mention the development and optimization of digital products and online sales processes. On the other hand, SEO optimization that increases the search engine traffic. It’s important to understand what are the interests of website visitors or digital application users, what do they find useful and what they don’t necessarily like. Having this type of information will enable us to adapt and optimize our services and solutions to better fit their needs.

DH: You talk about tailoring our services and solutions to better fit our customers’ needs, as a key point for your work. What other potential benefits an E-Commerce role brings to a business, considering our industry and the markets where we are active?

HM: The E-Commerce tools are great ways to bring more attention to our services, reach new markets and bring in new leads. As we are in the process of becoming a data driven company, more efficient digital touchpoints and data driven marketing are crucial.

DH: Thank you, Heikki for all the great insights into the world of an E-Commerce specialist. Before we wrap up, one last question: what is key for you in your current role?

HM: Bringing my best to the Digital Hub team and being an essential part in the E-Commerce projects across the company.

DH: Heikki, thank you so much for your time today!

Hope you enjoyed this edition of “Under the Digital Hood”. In the upcoming interviews, we will explore further sides of the digital transformation and the tools that power it. You will get to meet more and more of our experts and learn how their role is advancing the digital transformation of our company and customers.

If you want to read again the previous editions of Under the Digital Hood, exploring Data Science and Internet of things, you can find them here.

If you have questions that require an answer in these areas, feel free to send them to us via our Oerlikon Digital Hub Linkedin channel. And do let us know your thoughts and comments about this edition, we would love to have a conversation.

Until the next time, may the digital force be with you all!

Feedback or questions? Get in touch with us!

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